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Huda Kattan is Coming For Your Eyebrows

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Never have a bad eyebrow day again thanks to Insta-famous beauty guru Huda Kattan‘s latest collaboration with Tweezerman, available online today and in Sephora stores starting July 24.

The five-piece collection has everything you need for Huda-level eyebrows: a slant tweezer, mini tweezer, 10x zoom mirror, brow scissors, spoolie, and a bag. Everything features her signature lips motif all over. The full kit is $65, but you can also buy the tweezers individually ($26, $17 for the mini) or the travel-sized tweezer and mirror together ($34).

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“I’m super excited about the collaboration with Tweezerman and I feel extremely honored to be the first beauty influencer in the world to collaborate with them,” Kattan says in a statement, “Tweezerman is a brand I’ve been using for years because the quality of their tweezers and products really is unparalleled.”

Tweezerman

Now watch the kit in action:

Sold.

9 Beauty Rules I Learned From Huda Kattan

15 Mesmerizing Videos of Eyebrow Transformations

Lucia Pica’s Chanel Collection Takes a Cue From Naples, Italy

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Naples, Italy, is a crush of crumbling baroque churches, daredevil motorcyclists, yellow- rock cliffs plunging into a turquoise sea, and multihued houses, resplendent beneath the watchful eye of romantic—but menacing—Mount Vesuvius, the still-active volcano that swallowed nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 A.D. It’s also Chanel global creative makeup and color designer Lucia Pica’s hometown, and the inspiration behind the brand’s vibrant spring collection, Neapolis (taken from the metropolis’s original Greek name, meaning “new city”). “I wanted to translate the grandeur of Naples, as well as all of its oppositions—ancient and contemporary, mysterious and energetic—into color and texture,” Pica says from her perch in a picturesque hillside villa, waving a hand toward the city below, which still bears the distinct architectural imprints of the Roman, Byzantine, French, and Spanish cultures that have held sway over the centuries.

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“So much about makeup is the attitude with which you wear it.”

The color of the collection’s mascara, for example (described by Pica as “a gunmetal black with flecks of light”), matches the door of the fifteenth-century Gesù Nuovo church; the hues of the eye shadow palette mimic the rich burnished golds, browns, and greens of a showstopping cathedral ceiling; and a peachy blush captures the color of misty clouds hovering over Vesuvius at sunset. Pica’s favorite creation, a lip-powder-and-balm duo, was inspired by the soft reds of Pompeian frescoes, which were originally painted onto wet plaster. “I was thinking about how the colors of these 2,000-year-old frescoes are still so rich, but they also look powdery,” she says, “and it made me think of something I do all the time on photo shoots—which is pat a glaze of powder on top of lipstick to make it more matte. For me, it was a natural bridge: to take these abstract references and translate them into something that can actually go on a woman’s face to enhance her beauty.”

What are some of the best ways to use the Poudre à Lèvres lip powder?

It sounds intimidating, but it’s easy and very comfortable to wear. You can use a brush to apply the powder over a red lipstick to change the finish and help it stay on longer. It can look very romantic if you apply the powder only in the middle and then blend it out into the other color; that gives it a faded, kissed effect. Or you can just put on a bit of balm, then tap the powder on top. That gives a really soft, tinted look and adds volume to the lips.

What’s the secret to making ultrabright eyeliner and shadow look sophisticated?

Even if a color is very intense, it can still look like it’s part of your skin and part of your personality. I like to layer a cream eye shadow underneath a powder, for example. The combination makes any color appear more velvety and a bit more alive. When you’re using, say, a blue shadow on the lid, you can use a dark liner through the lash line to create a subtle feline shape and then put mascara on—so that you have the impact of the color, but your eyes still have definition. I think a bright eyeliner, like a bold green, also works best next to a darker color, so you definitely want a lot of black mascara for a bit of chiaroscuro. This will create intensity and depth—and make the eyes look so inviting.

Clockwise from top left: Naples, with Vesuvius in the distance; a fresco at Herculaneum; Majolica tiles in the cloister of Santa Chiara

courtesy of the author

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You’re not someone who steers away from the bold-eye/bold-lip combo, either.

So much about makeup is the attitude with which you wear it, and the juxtaposition of textures. It’s superimportant to keep your skin very fresh and natural-looking when you’re wearing powerful colors on your lips and eyes. This helps to create balance and keeps it modern. I also sometimes put balm on the lid to break up bold eye shadow a little bit, so that it feels lived-in. I think that makes it more wearable and less dated—it wouldn’t make you think of the ’80s.

You assisted Charlotte Tilbury for three years. What did you learn from her?

She’s the most vibrant, energetic, and focused person I’ve ever met. Her stamina is so inspiring, and she was always very supportive. She made me believe that I could do it, and that was so important. I’ve been lucky to have many women come into my life and help me get to the next level, and that’s what Charlotte taught me more than anything else: confidence.

The new Chanel collection was inspired by Naples, but you live in London and work a lot in Paris. How have those cities informed your notions of beauty?

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I’ve been in London for 19 years. It’s formed my adult personality, I think. I love the way that people express themselves with such a strong individualism and freedom there. That’s very different from Italian beauty, which is all about being radiant and glamorous. Your hair is done. Your face is done. There’s a lot of color coordination. And then Paris has the glamour, but I think French women also like to have something a little more relaxed, whether it’s their hair or something else, and they don’t like to look like they’re wearing a lot of makeup. I like things that are not entirely perfect—I find that very interesting. Finding beauty in reality.

Clockwise from top left: Gesù Nuovo; paint colors that inspired Chanel nail polishes; detail of the door to Gesù Nuovo

Max Farago

What’s most important to you when developing products?

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I always think about how things are going to feel. I often touch a product with my eyes closed to see if I like the texture. And then I test it on myself. As a woman, I know how I like to feel with makeup on. It should be comfortable and something that anyone—not just a makeup artist—can use in her everyday life.

Going for Baroque

J.GIRAL

“Make sure your lips aren’t dry before you put on the powder,” Pica says of Chanel Poudre à Lèvres, shown in Rosso Pompeiano (4), “or the result won’t be as beautiful.” She ensures a flake-free pout by prepping lips with Simple Exfoliating Facial Wipes (1). The Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in Aphrodite (3) was inspired by the Mediterranean Sea. “Don’t be scared of it!” Pica says. “It’s actually quite see-through. When you put it on top of any lipstick, it will freshen up the color.” Pica uses Lucas Papaw Ointment (2) to highlight cheekbones and add gloss to lids. Chanel Le Vernis polish in Giallo Napoli (5) “took forever” to perfect, she says. “The color had to be strong, but also elegant.”

1. Simple Exfoliating Wipes, $10; amazon.com SHOP

2. Lucas Papaw Ointment, $9; amazon.com SHOP

3. Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss, $30; nordstrom.com SHOP

4. Chanel Poudre à Lèvres, $37; chanel.com SHOP

5. Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour, $28; nordstrom.com SHOP

This article originally appears in the January 2018 issue of ELLE.

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Meghan Markle’s Messy Bun Is Getting A Lot of Attention

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As soon as Meghan Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry was announced, it seemed everyone wanted to know how they could achieve hair as glorious as that of the future princess. And now, Meghan’s hair is making headlines again thanks to an unconventional style she wore for her second official event.

Well, it’s unconventional for a royal, that is. For the rest of us, it’s about as conventional as it gets: a messy bun.

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With royal watchers so used to their duchesses always sporting impeccable blowouts and perfectly sculpted updos—we’re lookin’ at you, Kate Middleton—it’s no surprise that a lot of people took to Twitter to talk about it. And most who did heaped praise on Meghan for her polished yet relatable ‘do.

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And while the majority of internet commentary about Meghan’s bun is positive, some people just had to rain on her royal parade. (This is the internet, after all.)

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Although some of the Negative Nancies (or Judies) might like to think they’re just demanding Meghan adhere to royal protocol, the only known “rule” for royal women’s hair is to keep it covered with a hat during formal events. If that’s the case, then even Kate Middleton, with her always-flawless hairstyles, is usually guilty of breaking the same rule.

And besides, she looked so chic! We’re all for a little variety and personal style when it comes to the royals—and everyone else.

Gal Gadot Is Now the Face of a Major Drugstore Brand

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After conquering box offices and transforming into a feminist icon as Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot is now venturing into beauty. The Israeli model and pageant queen turned actress was just announced as the face of Revlon’s new campaign, Live Boldly.

Aside from her stint starring in Gucci’s Bamboo fragrance campaign in 2015, this marks her first major beauty contract. So far, there has only been a teaser video. Her signature charm and humor shine in multiple behind-the-scenes clips:

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Gal also shared a couple of shots from the campaign. “So happy to announce that I’ve joined the @Revlon family and am helping launch the #LiveBoldly campaign,” she wrote on Instagram. “Stay tuned…it’s going to be beautiful!”

Because we couldn’t stop watching and rewatching the campaign clip, we managed to make out that she’s wearing Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in #740 Certainly Red. You’re welcome!

Kylie Jenner Just Unveiled Her New Holiday Cosmetics Collection

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The wait is finally over: Kylie Jenner has finally announced that she is carrying…two new eyeshadow palettes in her Kylie Cosmetics holiday collection. The beauty mogul took to Snapchat to show off the first of what is sure to be a massive holiday 2017 collection: the Naughty and Nice eyeshadow palettes.

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Snapchat

Both the Naughty and Nice palette feature a whopping fourteen eyeshadow shades in a range of easy-to-wear colors. The shades in Naughty are: Snowball (a creamy white), Jingle (champagne sparkles), Unwrap Me (crimson), Snowflake (silver sparkles), Merry Mint (pastel green), St. Nick (hot red), Hot Toddy (sparky chocolate brown), Xmas Kiss (burnt orange), Emerald (exactly what the name suggests), Ho Ho Ho (red sparkles), Coal (smoky gray), Mischief (gray sparkles), Tipsy (cool taupe), and Glazed (yellow-gold sparkles).

Snapchat

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The shades in the Nice palette are: Jack Frost (sparkly white), Gumdrop (sparkly bronze), Holly (warm orange-red), Ginger Snap (ginger), Blizzard (frosted eggplant), Miracle (peachy nude), Wonderland (burgundy), Lullaby (orange-nude), Mulberry (mulled red wine), Slay (a more golden version of Glazed from the Naughty palette), Santa Baby (brown-taupe), Macaroon (dusty pink), Hot Cider (matte chocolate), and Drummer Boy (auburn sparkles).

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Jenner teased a new eyeshadow palette on Instagram a few days prior with a close-up look at a gorgeous smoky purple eye. She noted on Snapchat that we can expect more sneak peeks tomorrow, including a look at a brand new Wet Set highlighter palette. Last year’s holiday collection varied in price from $13 – $290. We wouldn’t be surprised if this year’s range had similar price tags.

If you don’t get your hands on the Kylie Cosmetics holiday 2017 products when they launch on November 22—fear not. Jenner noted an entirely new Kylie Cosmetics collection will drop in December featuring never-before-seen products. Could foundation, concealer, nail polish, or mascara be in the works?

ColourPop’s Latest Collaboration Is With a Dating Site

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As far as kiss-proof lipsticks go, it doesn’t get any better than ColourPop’s Ultra Matte Lip. The long-lasting formula doesn’t budge through a makeout (or a burger and fries, I can testify). It’s no wonder the buzzy beauty brand would collaborate with dating site Match.com to create a limited edition, custom lipstick called Mwah.

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On top of the new shade, Match and ColourPop also collaborated on a “Kiss + Tell” survey of 3,000 singles across the U.S. that revealed, among other kissing facts, that 30 percent of women say they’ve had more success landing a first kiss while wearing lipstick and at 30 percent, red is the #1 color that makes women feel most “sexy” (followed by neutral, 24 percent, and pink, 15 percent).

ColourPop

Every customer who buys Mwah will be gifted seven free days on Match.com. Additionally, $1 from every sale of Mwah will be donated to GLAM4GOOD Foundation, a social impact non-profit that has donated over one million fashion and beauty products to women and girls and uses style to raise awareness for several causes.

Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Mwah, $6, at colourpop.com

Emmanual Macron Reportedly Spent Over $30,000 on Makeup in Three Months

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All this time we’ve spent trying to emulate French beauty, looking to the country’s best bloggers, influencers and models for our inspiration—when we should have been taking grooming tips from the French president instead.

According to The Telegraph, Emmanuel Macron reportedly spent €26,000 (about $30,605) over three months on his personal make-up artist and all the products that he needs to look as good as he does. That works out at around $10,000 per month to create this:

Since entering the Elysée Palace in May, the 39-year-old president has settled two bills from a personal make-up artist called Natacha M; one for €10,000 and another for €16,000, reports The Guardian.

Political aides acknowledged that the bill was “high”, but that the make-up artist had been called in as a “matter of urgency” and pointed out that the high fees cover international travel costs. They insisted that future cosmetic bills would be “significantly reduced”.

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“The sum covers various services including press conferences and foreign trips where the person concerned has to travel with him,” one Elysée official told journalists. The official admitted the bill was “high…but less than his predecessor’s”.

Indeed, Macron is not the biggest cosmetic spender in French presidential history. Macron’s predecessor, François Hollande spent around €30,000 (about $35,400) per quarter on his make-up artist and reportedly spent $127,000 on haircuts annually.

This news comes at a time when Macron’s political popularity is falling—perhaps a re-budgeting of his glam squad may be something that the people of France would be happy to hear.

From: Harper’s Bazaar Australia

Lush Is Dropping Five Mystical New Jelly Face Masks

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Beauty brand Lush already offers up jelly products in the form of its shower jellies (and upcoming jelly bath bombs), and if you haven’t seen these babies jiggle, just take them in first:

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The brand’s latest product launch continues riding the jelly train. Meet Lush’s jelly face masks, which bring the shower jellies’ pleasing bouncy texture to your face for maximum cooling pleasure.

The five new jelly face masks are all inspired by women in the company, come in a variety of types and scents, and will set you back $13.95 each:

There’s The Birth of Venus and 1,000 Millihelens, which are a fresh sea water/rose infusion and green tea/witch hazel blend, respectively:

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And while each jelly face mask is meant to target a specific problem, it would be totally understandable if you saw these cuties and decided that, like Pokémon, you just gotta catch ’em all when they drop on September 1:

Victoria’s Secret Angel Stella Maxwell Stocks Up on Wellness Pills and Tim Tams

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If aliens came to Earth right this second, they’d think Stella Maxwell was famous for a) crashing a wedding, b) getting a puppy, and c) introducing said puppy to the wonders of nude lace bodysuits. Maxwell is actually famous for being a Victoria’s Secret Angel—the one who wears biker boots on a daily basis, hangs with Jeremy Scott and Barbie, and appears glued to our favorite moody movie star.

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Along with her regular Angel duties, the 27-year old is the new face of Wicked, a perfume blend of black sugar, Tahitian vanilla, and freesia that’s out this month. Which might explain why she called us from New York to discuss her latest projects, including tons of dog-mom details.

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You wear lots of black leather in real life—and also in the Wicked campaign. Coincidence?

The Wicked shoot was really fun because they were like, “How are you going to style yourself?” I think because it’s a really young fragrance—it’s like a trendy and a new twist on [the VS scent] Crush—and I loved how on set, they asked your opinion personally. They know exactly how to make a girl feel sexy and cool. They’re an amazing company for that.

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Did you get to keep the choker?

I loved that choker. We had a few of them on set, and they were all really good. A black one works with everything, so it’s one of my favorites.

I’m from Boston, where we say things are ‘wicked cool.’ Is that weird?

No, I use ‘wicked’ all the time! It’s part of my slang! When something’s really rad, I’m like, ‘That’s wicked.’ It has many meanings but worldwide, it seems like young people think it alludes to being either the naughtier side of you, or the trendier, cool side of you. I like it either way.

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You travel everywhere. Do you ever just work out in your hotel room?

Yeah, because I travel a lot and spend a lot of time in hotels, I’ve kind of figured it out. I do a lot of yoga, and so I have a lot of yoga videos on my phone from my own workouts.

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You film yourself doing yoga?

Yeah, my yoga teacher will come to my house, or I’ll go to their studio. And if I want to practice and get better, most of that is doing a lot of work on my own time at home. So I film my classes and take the videos around. Sometimes I FaceTime my teachers, too.

How does that work?

Just to ask about sequences or postures. You know, ‘Can you go through that pose again for me?’ And if you’re in a hotel without a mat, you can usually do yoga comfortably on the floor and it’s fine.

I know athletes like to watch game tapes to improve their performance. Is that something you do with your yoga videos?

Yeah, and it’s definitely interesting, because you can track your progression—like, I can tell I’m getting better and stronger, and I can see when the poses become second nature, which they do after a while. And then the funny thing is, I see a series of all my VS Sport outfits going through the year. So it’s like a fashion timeline, too.

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You’re from New Zealand, but you were born in Belgium. How many languages do you speak?

Fluently? Two. Belgium is half French-speaking and half Flemish, and I was born on the French side. So we spoke it a lot—like in kindergarten, it was almost all French. But then I moved to New Zealand when I was 10, where we obviously spoke English all the time, so I lost the French a little bit. But it comes back when I’m in France.

Do people speak French around you, thinking you don’t understand them?

In Paris, I guess I can always understand what the [backstage] crews are saying, but I’ll usually talk right back to them, so it’s not a surprise. I can hear them, and they know it!

Your new dog is becoming an Instagram star. What’s his story?

He’s a shelter dog! And that’s important, because I was never going to go to a breeder. There are so many dogs out there that need homes, and so many awesome dogs who are stuck in shelters. When I decided to get a dog, I went looking on the internet, and I found quite a few—but I knew I needed a little one that I could travel with, and who was easy to look after. I’m working and traveling so much that it was important to get a dog who could go on a plane, who could go on fashion shoots. So I made some appointments to meet dogs that needed homes, but because I was working, I showed up late and I missed them by a couple of minutes! So I was going back home, so bummed because I didn’t even get to meet the dogs and see what their vibe was. And then my friend and I passed a random shelter, like a pound. And they were like, ‘Want to pop in and check it out?’ We did, and going into the shelter broke my heart. I wanted to take them all. They’re just found strays, and they will be such good pets for people. So that’s how I found my little guy.

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What’s his name?

His name originally was Lightning. I’ve renamed him Trip. He’s a Chihuahua mix—unfortunately, we don’t know much else about him, because he was found on the street. But he’s the chillest little dog in the world, and I love him. I can’t even explain how cool he is. I took him on my shoot yesterday, and he was the star on set.

So your puppy is good on planes. Are you?

Yeah, I’m really lucky because I can sleep on planes. I wear an eye mask, I have a book, and I sit down and pass out pretty easily. I know that not everyone can. I think I’m good at it because I travel so much, and for me, being on planes is like a sacred time. It’s the only time to zone out and meditate.

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What’s your favorite thing to buy in foreign drugstores?

I like to get wellness pills anywhere I can, like all-natural multivitamins. I’ve taken them frequently throughout the last few years, and I think they really boost your immune system and prevent you from getting sick. That’s essential in my job, because I’m around different people, in different air, and building my immune system for travel is part of how I stay healthy. So I’m always looking for those.

What about junk food?

Have you ever had a Tim Tam? It’s an Australian chocolate cookie. You’ve got to get those. They’re so good.

I feel like the hardest part about being famous is having so many people wanting to be your friend. Is it easier or harder to have ‘true’ friends as a supermodel?

Listen, I’ve been blessed with the coolest job in the world. Outside of work, I still have the same friends I’ve had for years. But because I travel so much, I meet new people every day, and I’m just as open to new friends as I was before I started working. At this point, I have a group of friends in every city where I work, and so I always try to make time to see them and catch up with them, because it’s part of why my job’s so great. I literally have friends everywhere.

To you, what’s the definition of a good friend?

I guess being a good friend is always being there for each other and looking after each other, and always wishing the best for each other. A real friend is someone who tries to bring you up all the time, and someone you want to do that for. That’s what makes a friend special.

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I Thought Having a Breast Reduction Would Make Me a Bad Feminist

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The first time I looked in the mirror and saw my freshly reduced breasts, I nearly passed out. Sorry to scare you, reader, but it was a grim sight — all gentian violet stipple marks, purpled bruises, puffy flesh, and sutures that made me look like the Bride of Frankenstein, and not in a sexy Halloween way. I hadn’t taken a shower in a week; the topic had become a source of considerable aggravation between my mom and me, but I kept nodding off anyway, so the point was mostly moot.

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It took me years to get to this point: countless cumbersome bras bought at awkward family trips to specialty stores, where prosthetic breasts gleamed like chicken cutlets in the fluorescent light; shoulder indentations; baggy clothes; and body piercing to try and rouse some feeling into my most loathed body parts. Apologies, mom, but I got my nipples pierced not once or twice but three separate times, the irony being that it’s awfully hard to heal what’s essentially a surface piercing on an F or G cup boob. The size of the cup is sometimes dependent on the maker and fit of the bra, and over the years, my cups crept towards a G. Still, I resisted surgery, and not just because my mom’s well-meaning but slightly tipsy friend once described in detail the old way they performed the surgery (“They put my nipples on the table!” is how she put it, way back in the early ’90s).

I didn’t want to get my breasts reduced because I thought it would make me a bad feminist. That I was somehow sticking it to The Man by not allowing myself relief from the increasing pain, both physical and mental, of waking up with backaches, wrestling with geriatric bras, and cursing shirts that buckled when I tried to button them. I don’t regret getting my nipples pierced (although in retrospect I should have probably given up after the first try). But I do regret not giving myself permission to do what I wanted with a body that made me miserable.

The first time I looked in the mirror and saw my freshly reduced breasts, I nearly passed out.

I started seriously considering the surgery after my father died in the spring of 2003. You’d be surprised what you feel capable of once you hold the hand of a parent taking his last breaths on Earth.

In 2004, I went to a consultation at a ritzy doctor’s office on the Upper East Side. A friend of a friend had got her reduction done there in the late ’90s; she’d presented her doctor with a copy of Drew Barrymore’s Playboy as an example of the breasts she wanted. (Barrymore is also a member of the formerly enormous boobs committee, so it seems appropriate to use her perfectly reduced breasts as a guideline.) I was dejected after the whole thing, like a piece of meat shuttled between offices, so my mom made me an appointment with Dr. L., a family friend back in Dallas. She knew that I’d procrastinate forever if left to my own devices, much like I still do for airplane reservations.

After examining me, Dr. L. took measurements of my breasts, including the acreage between my nipple and my rib cage; that particular measurement would generally indicate how small we could go while also keeping my breasts at a reasonable proportion for my height and weight. Keeping within that ratio would also allow him to keep my nipple mostly attached for the surgery, leaving me with whatever feeling was left after all those piercings. We flipped through a book of before and after photos, I pointed out the breasts I liked best, and he showed me what I would probably look like by the time he was done; then he took my before photo. He knew I’d already thought about the decision to have the surgery for months, if not years, and that there wasn’t really much to discuss except when to schedule the surgery. We decided to do it over Thanksgiving, which would give me about a week to recover in Dallas. I don’t think anything he could have said would have dissuaded me. But I was terrified.

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As opposed to the more old-fashioned and barbaric surgery my mom’s friend had described, the most common breast reductions these days leave the nipples mostly intact. If you look closely, I have anchor-shaped scars from the bottom of each nipple, down to where my breast meets my ribcage, and then across to the area beneath my armpit. The remaining tissue had been basically stuffed up high on my chest so it could fall into a natural shape; initially, the bottom of each breast was like a pocket waiting to be filled. (Yes, I’m getting a bit woozy writing this.) Not only did I not have to wear a bra for months, I wasn’t allowed to! It was incredible.

Initially, it felt like the plastic surgeon had rummaged around in my actual subconscious as well as my torso. Although I knew logically that my life wouldn’t change after I got my reduction, I was still disappointed that I wasn’t suddenly happy with my body; my breasts had obfuscated my generous belly, for starters. My love life didn’t radically upend itself. My self-esteem still struggled. I felt out of touch with this new, weird body and its breasts that felt numb in places and had horrible lumpy bits that sent my doctors scurrying to order sonograms every year. Dr. L. explained, to my surprise, that the surgery had created scar tissue in my breasts and that trying to remove the lumps could just cause more. The nerves in my breasts jangled as they came alive again over the next year or so, shocking me with pain. Is this what puberty had been like? If so, I’d effectively blocked it out and was experiencing it all over again.

Not only did I not have to wear a bra for months, I wasn’t allowed to! It was incredible.

Ten years gone, and there are things I take for granted which once shocked me with delight; not having to bend over and wriggle into bras is a major one, as is waking up without a backache. Although my breasts have sprung back to a 38D from a more manageable 34C, I can still find bras at my local undergarment store, where the woman who sizes me up and fits me perfectly comments on how wonderfully my breasts have healed. (Shout out to Orchard Street Corset!) Eventually, I calmed down both literally, when the zombie breast nerves stopped zapping me with pain, and figuratively, when I began to take for granted all of the conveniences of smaller breasts. “Don’t freak out, but there’s a lot of dead tissue in there so it’s gonna feel lumpy!” I cheerfully warn new doctors and sonogram technicians. (I still get vaguely nauseated when people press on the inner scar tissue itself, for some inexplicable reason.) But even with all of these caveats and gory details, my only wish is that I’d gotten the surgery sooner.

In the end, it was my own insecurity that made me prioritize my so-called feminist street cred over happiness. Seizing control of my body — and my pleasure — was the most empowering decision I’ve ever made. (It’s also a privileged and costly decision that I wish everyone had access to.) Although plenty of people think of breast reduction as somehow more valid or acceptable than augmentation or facelifts, my decision was based as much on aesthetics as it was on daily discomfort. As it turns out, it’s no better or worse than any other choices we make with our bodies every day. I’d never questioned other people’s bodily autonomy, but I couldn’t extend myself the same empathy. Now, I’m so glad I did.

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